Wholesome, bite-sized Twitter substitute..._
November 1, 2019 6:26 AM   Subscribe

I'm on a social media break! (I know...) I would quite like to put something in place of Twitter and Facebook on my phone to fill those little 5 minute gaps that is wholesome, good for me, educational, maybe even mood-boosting etc.

I wanna leave this as broad as possible, but things that would work include:
  • mantras, little stories to make you think or appreciate the moment, maybe even very short guided meditations?
  • interesting facts or articles that don't take long to read
  • little puzzles, though ideally I don't want to just add another game to the dozens I already have
  • an activity that would encourage me to be creative - quick doodle, short writing prompt...
I currently have Duolingo in place of Twitter, but haven't opened it yet, cough. I could move the Kindle app or another eReader there, or even just a Google doc or a weblink.

I want to avoid things that suck me in so my 5-minute break turns into half an hour on the sofa. Also interested in non-phone-based ideas if they don't require carrying a lot of other stuff. (Go on, tell me to just sit and experience idleness... I know!)

posted by ClarissaWAM to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
If you like food and reading about food, eatyourbooks.com has a TON of manageable-size content linked from its blog. (It's also a fantastic service.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:21 AM on November 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Flashcard app for something you're annoyed at yourself for not knowing? My sense of world geography is terrible, but it's better since I started killing time with flashcards. Doesn't have to be geography -- whatever you feel like you should know more of that's flashcard friendly.

I think there are lots of apps and I'm not in love with the one I use, so I'm not going to recommend it specifically.
posted by LizardBreath at 7:58 AM on November 1, 2019

Best answer: Short, wholesome videos with interesting content? The Kid Should See This, "4,000+ smart & super-cool, 'not-made-for-kids, but perfect for them'” curated slices of good stuff. Please enjoy this animation of the periodic table!
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:59 AM on November 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The Insight Timer app allows you to sort guided meditations by time. Some are only a minute long. There's a lot of variety.
posted by 6thsense at 8:36 AM on November 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I use those times sometimes to look at old photos on my phone — there's so much in there, from years and years, and so much I've forgotten. It's a nice lil mem trip.
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:35 AM on November 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: When I wanna kill a few minutes, I fire up the New York Times Crossword Puzzle app and do some mini or midi puzzles. You have to pay a couple bucks for unlimited access to the archives but usually there is a new free mini puzzle every day and you can access a certain amount of older puzzles without paying.
posted by zeusianfog at 10:27 AM on November 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: +1 for looking at old photos (can clean out or edit pics in your camera roll at the same time) – I used to do this during my pumping "breaks" at work and it's so pleasant and relaxing and always made me feel good and happy, basically the EXACT POLAR OPPOSITE of how I came away feeling after a similar amount of time spent on social media.

Journaling apps? Open it and bang out a quick voice dictation of your day so far. I love having those records to look back on, so much of the details of daily life just vanish into the mists of time and it's always amazing how just a few hasty lines can immediately shake loose so many memories.

Sending quick "hi, I was just thinking of you" or "hi, how have you been?" texts to people you haven't seen recently. It's fun to get pictures of wherever someone is at the moment, or just random non-sequiturs that you know will make them smile but don't necessarily need a response.
posted by anderjen at 10:33 AM on November 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

Best answer: There's an endless supply of chess puzzles at lichess and doing them regularly will improve your game.
posted by flabdablet at 10:56 AM on November 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer:
New York Times Crossword Puzzle app
If your phone is an Android one, I can recommend Shortyz Crosswords, which gets daily puzzles from a number of free sites. It can also pull the NYT crosswords if you have a subscription.
posted by kindall at 11:46 AM on November 1, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks all, great suggestions! Not all work for me (I can’t play chess *ahem*), but you’ve given me good ideas. I’ve also started Spanish on Duolingo again ^_^
posted by ClarissaWAM at 1:49 PM on November 1, 2019

I can’t play chess *ahem*

That's OK. Lichess can teach you.
posted by flabdablet at 6:46 AM on November 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

I play Solitaire. Usually I use it to keep my hands and eyes busy when listening to audiobooks or podcasts, because Klondike can be mindless and Freecell seems to use a different part of my brain that the listening part. If I don't keep my eyes open I tend to fall asleep while listening to words, and I don't want to miss anything. But Solitaire apps are easy to pick up any time and put down for any reason and all the ones I've used remember where you are in the game.

Seconding the crossword puzzle suggestion.
posted by lhauser at 8:47 PM on November 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

I tend to play 2048 while listening to podcasts for similar reasons to the solitaire comment above.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:42 AM on November 4, 2019

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